Hey lady, want to sell your house?

This is a phrase I’ve heard a couple of times during my years of home ownership. Today was the third.

Back in the 80s, an acquaintance telephoned me at work and said “I drove by your house three times today, is it for sale?” While I didn’t know this woman very well at the time, I knew enough to understand if a chick drives by your house three times in one day, she’s got it bad. Since we weren’t star-crossed lovers, and she had no other reason to do a drive-by, I knew she was dead serious.

This woman didn’t know about the conversations that were happening in the house at that time. We were deciding whether or not to pour a bunch of money into the place to make it nicer, live with the ugly bits, or to sell it. To make a weird story short, I convinced my husband to take our infant daughter out for dinner that night, I did a “white tornado” job through the house and invited this acquaintance and her hubby over for some wine. They came in with a verbal offer that night. We had it wrapped up legally within about a week. Nope, the house wasn’t for sale, but it was indeed sold.

The second time this happend, that same husband and I had some serious conversations about the longevity of our marriage. The status of our marital home would eventually be considered as we went through this difficult time. Enter another woman. This time, a stranger. She was hunting for a home on my street and liked the look of ours from the curb. She came in for lemonade. I assured her the house was not for sale, but I would consider her interest and have the house appraised and get back to her with a number, and we could continue our conversation at that time. When I called her back with the number, she was no longer interested. Without a word of a lie, that same day a realtor knocked on the door declaring he had a buyer for our home. That realtor and I are still friends. He did sell the house, and then sold my husband and I two more homes across the street from each other about a block away.

Today when my home phone rang, I didn’t expect to hear a realtor say “hi my name is” and “I’m wondering if you’re interested in selling your home?”

Do I give off some karma when I’m having the homeowner blues? Do people know? I know this realtor by name only. He’s very active in higher end listings in my neighbourhood. I wouldn’t normally consider my house in line with the stuff I normally see his name on.

He said “you do live at this address, right?” and confirms my address. I assured him he had it correct. Then he starts with “have you ever considered a move, or listing your home in the near future?” For a moment, I had a couple of flashbacks. He added “normally I go door knocking, but it’s a bit cold today, I thought I’d give you a call.”

I let him know that I loved my house, and as difficult as it may be at times to balance the books with my mortgage, I’m committed to sticking it out until I either have my hips replaced and can’t get up the stairs anymore, or they put a tag on my toes and carry me out the front door. He said “you have a nice yard, don’t you?” and I said “I have the nicest yard in the city”. He went on to explain how my street was very desireable, and he even said it was his favourite street in the neighbourhood.

My street is a bit of a hidden jem. It’s actually a crescent. There are only about 40 houses on it, most of them semi-detached (like mine). Because it’s a crescent, there are a few houses, who enjoy being on the outside of the curve, who have a massive back yard. I don’t have the biggest yard, but all modesty aside, I think I do have the nicest. (It’s tied for second place for the second biggest, I think). I have absolutely no front yard to speak of.

The realtor said “I can’t get anybody to sell their house on your street”, and I responded with “I’m not surprised.” People who live here have lived here for a long time. There’s an older couple, in their late 70s down the street from me. She was born in that house. My neighbour moved once, but from one end of the street to the house attached to mine. We’re very close to the busy streets that one needs to get from A to B, but far enough away not to be bothered by the noise or traffic they generate. Folks can walk to a very desireable commercial district with anything you could ever want to find. They can also walk to the subway easily.

Despite my whining about the cost and the work involved with owning this house, at that moment it was clear to me that no, I didn’t want to sell my house. It was the first time somebody asked and I didn’t suggest a glass of wine or lemonade to discuss it further. His calling me tells me that my house does have value, and that value isn’t likely to take any big hits over time. Sure, if the market tanks entirely, this property value will go with it – but in the grand scheme of things, my house will never be on a busy street, and will never be more than a 10 minute walk from a pretty cool commercial/pub/shopping scene. I may not be interested in holding onto the property if I find myself living entirely alone. Who really knows?

I like living here because it gives me joy, comfort and I take some pride in maintaining it (both from a domestic and financial point of view). Hey, I had to buy this house twice already, I’m not going that easily.

For now, I’m reminded I should update the appraisal I had done in July of 2009 and just see where it’s at. Maybe when the snow melts and the buds push up, the place will look that much nicer.

P.S. Nope, that’s not a picture of my house up there. I just want to get a paintbrush and fix it up though!


One response to this post.

  1. But isn’t it nice to know you have options and that your current home is very marketable!


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